In the News
Advocates are championing the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, which has faced GOP resistance. Editorial writer Darryl E. Owens discusses the cause in an email interview with Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, part of the coalition
In 2006, Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent backed legislation that updated the federal Voting Rights Act. But he hasn't committed to a reauthorization bill introduced by Republican Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner in response to last year's Supreme Court ruling striking down federal oversight that the 40-year-old law imposed on states with a history of voting discrimination.
Stosh Cotler is interviewed on State of Belief talking about Bend the Arc changing the mind of the most prominent Jewish opponent of comprehensive immigration reform: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964, a national movement is underway to protect the ability of every American to exercise his or her right to vote. You’d think by now this would be a non-issue, but recent events—including the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision last summer striking down a key piece of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965—make this fight all too timely.
There is something quintessentially American and quintessentially Jewish about voting -- and fighting for the right to vote. After all, voting is an act of faith. It's a ritual, part of belonging to the community. Like all rituals, we may find them inconvenient when they interrupt our daily schedule, but we also hold them dear. It may not feel sacred in some moments -- filling in little bubbles or pulling little levers -- but it connects deeply with our past and our core sense of who we are as a people. And ultimately we do it because we believe in something bigger than ourselves, something that we can't see directly and are taught to trust in -- in this case, a sense that all of us, doing this little ritual, adds up to a government of ourselves, by ourselves, for ourselves, that stands up for liberty and justice for all.